Hundreds Of Sea Turtles 'Flash Frozen' In Cold Snap

The turtles were frozen solid like "ice cubes"

Massachusetts gets cold. Very cold.

We're talking lows on average of -5 degrees in the middle of winter. In Autumn (or Fall, in American - which is now) the average low is about 6.7 degrees.

Over Thanksgiving temperatures plummeted in New England, with a Cold Snap leaving hundreds of Sea Turtles literally frozen in motion.

At least 219 turtles, many the critically endangered species, Kemp's ridley,  washed ashore on Cape Cod beaches -- 173 were dead.

IMAGE: Facebook/MassAudubonWellfleetBay

“The flash freezing that occurred quickly overnight left the beaches all frozen up,” Jenette Kerr of the Massachusetts Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary said to the Boston Globe.

“Sadly, everything coming in this morning were like ice cubes.”

“It was like they were flash-frozen, flippers in all weird positions like they were swimming,” Robert Prescott, the sanctuary's director told CNN.

Every year conservationists prepare for what's known as the 'cold-stun season', as water temperatures plummet as winter settles in. The turtles feed in Cape Cod Bay in the warmer months, before heading south for the winter.

IMAGE: Getty

It's believed the turtles are delaying migration due to the warming trend in the Gulf of Maine. It means many, are getting stuck in icy cold waters.

Once their body temperature gets down to 10 degrees Celsius, their body begins to shutdown. They then drift along the current and are washed ashore.

During a cold snap, even the beaches start to freeze over, making it difficult for the reptiles to survive.